In and Around the West of Munich


Here are some more details about another day spent in Munich.

Heading West out of the centre, you come to the suburb called Pasing. Not only does the rail station there have phenomenal bike park and ride facilities, but there is another thing that struck me as being different from here in the UK.

There is a large shopping mall called the Pasing Arcaden (“arcades”). Not only do a lot of people travel there by bike (or train or tram), but there are charging stations for e-bikes. The volumes of e-bikes in Germany have boomed. At one stage, I confess that I turned my nose up at e-bikes: “if you don’t pedal to get somewhere, you aren’t a real cyclist!

But cycling safety comes about not just through Dutch style cycling infrastructure, but by having lots of people on bikes – hence the famous “critical mass” campaigns to get people out on bikes together. If there are loads of cyclists, drivers become more aware of them, more tolerant of them (though I’m sure it will take some motorists here a while to adapt!), and cycling becomes safer. So I now view it as a good thing if people are using any type of bike: just plain pedal power, pedalec (which adds battery power to your pedalling), or e-bikes.

Consequently, it also has to be a good thing if there are recharging points for those e-bikes. You can see one of these in the main photo above.

Not far from Pasing is another enormous palace in the Bavarian collection: in the Western suburbs of Munich, it’s called Nymphenburg, and it also houses the collection of royal carriages of the former Kings of Bavaria, along with the royal sledges – Bavaria has a very continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters and the mountains are not far to the south, so there can be plenty of snow.

Decades ago doing German A-level, I had to read the story of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, who fell in love with Agnes Bernauer, the beautiful daughter of an inn-keeper. Stories differ as to whether he really did marry her or just live with her, but Albrecht’s father King Ernst was enraged that his son had run off with a commoner. The story ended badly, with Agnes tried as a witch for seducing the young duke, and was then drowned in the Danube. The reason for recounting this? South West of Nymphenburg is the tiny palace of Blutenburg, where Albrecht and Agnes lived happily until their world came crashing down. Having discovered the palace’s location, I had to visit!

Do bear in mind that if you visit the wonderful beer gardens in and around Munich – the “englischer Garten” (English Garden) is a wonderful city centre park with beer garden and oompah band – that from 6pm you can no longer order beer in half litres, just a litre at a time. This is known as a or “Mass” (pronounced Marss) which can be made of glass or earthenware. The German word for earthenware is “Stein”. Somewhere loads of English speaking visitors to Bavaria misunderstood that the mug is called a Stein; it isn’t, it’s a “Mass” which may be made of “Stein”.


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